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Happy grandparents with children near river; retirement expenses

15 Irregular Expenses to Remember When Retirement Planning – Part 2 of 2

The key to a happy, relaxed retirement is remembering to calculate not only for the basics; but also for annual, impulse, opportunity, emergency, and recreational spending. Last week we discussed home & garden and lifestyle considerations. Let’s get back into retirement planning with a look at some more irregular expenses to keep in mind.

Family and Grandkids Expenses

Presents and Treats

Buying presents for grandkids and doing special favors for family is one of the great joys of being a grandparent. The simple ability to add a little extra joy and appreciation to those you love warms your heart. It makes your retirement all the more rewarding. But while your love and generosity are endless and free, you’ll want to adjust your budget to account for all the little gifts and special treats that you’ll want to shower on your children and grandchildren.

Special Outings

And then there are the special outings. Trips to the movies, mini-golf, theme parks, shows, river tours, and all sorts of other things that are fun to do with friends and close relatives. Sometimes you may be left with grandchildren for a day with the perfect opportunity to go on a fun outing; you’ll want to have plenty of cushion space in your weekly budget to be as happy and carefree as the kids during your time together.

Birthday Expenses

Who can forget about the birthdays? For your spouse, your close friends, your children, and your grandchildren, birthdays are often when well-connected seniors shine. After all, you’ve had decades to perfect your gift-buying strategy. You might just be the family’s greatest caterer or party-planner extraordinaire! Just don’t be surprised by the cost of these delightful events.

Special Occasions

The Holidays

If there is one set of expenses that can take a serious bite out of any household budget, no matter what age the residents are, it’s the holidays. Buying gifts for all your friends and family, attending parties, and getting involved in events will be an impact on your budget every year. You might as well calculate for November and December to be big ‘overspend’ months from the very beginning.

Anniversaries

If your special someone is still with you, then every anniversary is more precious and impressive than the last. Should you happen to make it to your 40th or even 50th anniversaries together, you’re going to want to go all-out, even if it’s just on a quiet evening enjoying each other’s company. Give yourself plenty of room for that once-in-a-lifetime bottle of wine, dinner reservation, or even a whole big-bash reception to celebrate the long years together with everyone you love.

Weddings and Other Events

Of course, you’re not the only one throwing events and getting involved. As other members of your family progress through their life stages, there will be a number of weddings, showers, sweet 16s for grandchildren, anniversary parties of friends and family, and all the annual family holidays that matter to your inner circle. These will also likely result in a few extra expenses that shouldn’t be ignored.

Emergency Expenses

Finally, never forget that emergencies can happen to anyone. Whether your basement floods during a storm rain or your adult child gets divorced and needs a comforting place to stay for a while; sometimes life requires you to spend a little more than usual in order to make lemonade out of the lemons. Have an emergency fund and let it roll over each year and think ahead on the type of insurance coverage you invest in. This way, you’ll be able to cover bigger and bigger emergencies if nothing comes up for a while.


Retirement planning is not something you want to underestimate. Even if you’re calculating for your minimum possible budget, don’t forget that any fulfilled life involves irregular expenses. Gifts for loved ones, home upkeep, vacations, and unexpected events can all influence how much you’ll need to coast comfortably through retirement. For more financial insights or guidance on selecting the optimal financial management for your retirement plans, contact us today!